Miri – 18 November 2011 – Curtin Sarawak Research Institute (CSRI) at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) was officially launched on 9 November 2011.
CSRI is a multi-disciplinary research institute established this year to deliver scientifically-based solutions, principally to the energy and biotech industries, as well as to offer research fellowships to researchers.
The launch at the university campus was attended by the Mayor of Miri, Lawrence Lai; Professor Andy Chan, Director of Research in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus and the event’s guest speaker; and representatives from industry, government agencies, professional bodies and other universities.
Also present were Curtin Sarawak’s Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alistair Inglis; Director of CSRI, Professor Aaron Goh; Dean of the School of Engineering and Science, Professor Yudi Samyudia; and academic staff of the university.
According to Professor Goh, CSRI’s research focuses on six priority areas – renewable energies and biofuels, extraction and process engineering, sustainable tourism, sustainable resources, cultural and linguistic studies in native communities, and energy economics, policies and models.
“CSRI aspires to bring together the best minds to pursue opportunities and overcome challenges arising from the development of Sarawak and the region. It aims to achieve excellence in research by providing innovative solutions, contributing to policy-making, and directly improving the lives of the people in this region,” Professor Goh elaborated.
Meanwhile, the city mayor commended Curtin Sarawak for establishing CSRI, adding that the institute could be a key contributor in the making of Miri as a regional educational hub as envisioned by the state government.
He said students at Curtin Sarawak have the opportunity to engage in research, working alongside the university’s researchers, as part of their learning process. This will not only enrich the university’s research culture and help build its research capacity, but also enhance local academic research and the quality of higher education in Sarawak on the whole.
Sharing Lai’s sentiments, Professor Inglis said the establishment of CSRI and further development of Curtin Sarawak’s research, and its capacity to partner with others in research, will become increasingly important to the university’s contribution to the sustainable social, environmental and economic development of Sarawak and the broader national and international community. He added that, in recent years, Curtin Sarawak’s research activity has experienced extremely strong growth both in volume and significance, and CSRI will be the catalyst for even greater growth in the coming years.
CSRI recently appointed its first visiting professor, Professor Taufiq Yap of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and currently the coordinator of PutraCAT, the Centre of Excellence for Catalysis Science and Technology at UPM’s Faculty of Science. Professor Yap is an award-winning scientist with an established track record in developing advanced materials for energy such as heterogeneous catalysts for biodiesel/biolubricant production, dry reforming of methane for hydrogen production and biomass conversion to syngas and bio-oil.
CSRI currently has a multinational team of researchers comprising Dr Ujjal Kumar Ghosh, Dr Low Siow Yong, Dr R. Nagarajan and Dr Moacyr Laruccia. Their research interests include structure-property-function relationships of materials, water and waste treatment, signal processing, and geo-chemical studies of the environment. Their research combines both numerical and experimental approaches to solve practical problems.
To encourage more top-notch researchers to join its ranks, CSRI has instituted the Curtin Sarawak Research Institute Research Fellowship Scheme offering Early Career Development, Senior Research, and Visiting Fellowships. The scheme is aimed at providing post-doctoral researchers, scholars and industry practitioners with the opportunity to build research capacity at Curtin Sarawak.
The fellowships are tenable at Curtin Sarawak and successful candidates are offered competitive rewards packages and start-up funds commensurate with experience. The candidates are expected to lead the development of their own research programmes, drive excellence in research activities, and develop close collaboration between Curtin Sarawak and its parent campus in Perth, Australia.
Researchers and others with an interest in CSRI’s themes of research can also become members of the institute. Full membership in CSRI is by invitation by the Director of CSRI and given only to researchers within Curtin who have ongoing research programmes in areas strategic to CSRI and have good track records in research. They will be listed in the membership directory and have access to competitive funding from CSRI.
Associate members, meanwhile, include researchers from other universities, government and industry, as well as non-research participants who are interested in research related to energy and biotechnology. Associate Members will be adjunct to CSRI, receive its newsletter and have the opportunity to collaborate with full members to apply for funding.
Corporate membership is open to organisations that wish to participate and collaborate with CSRI in driving innovative research solutions to real world problems. Corporate members are divided into different categories depending on annual commitment, with benefits ranging from the association of prestigious research chairs and research fellowships and scholarships to travel grants.
For more information on CSRI, contact Professor Aaron Goh at [email protected] or +60 85 443966, or visit www.curtin.edu.my/csri.